Sheridan, Wy – Legislators have wrapped up two days of meetings in Sheridan to prepare for the upcoming Special Session. Four different committees were meeting as one to consider ideas to address the state's rising medical malpractice insurance rates. Representative Colin Simpson is the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. He says they will likely look at a resolution to cap non economic damages and a medical review panel. Although lawmakers also may consider the Governors proposal of a subsidy to help doctors pay for insurance. Simpson also says insurance reforms are possible.
Laramie, Wy – Officials with the Wyoming Game and Fish says they probably will not conduct additional monitoring or studying of Lynx, despite the discovery of a Lynx and its Kittens in the Snowy Range Mountains. The Lynx was released nearly 225 miles away in Colorado nearly four years ago. Game and Fish Biological Services Supervisor Reg Rothwell says the discovery of the species is a surprise but he doubts the agency will do any additional monitoring. He says he will leave that up to Colorado officials instead. The Lynx gave birth to three kittens.
Cheyenne, Wy – The top state and federal endangered species authorities in Wyoming both say they dislike how the Endangered Species Act is applied. Ryan Lance is Governor Freudenthal's endangered species coordinator. He spoke today (Wednesday) at the U-S Bureau of Land Management's National Fluid Minerals Conference in Cheyenne. Lance says environmental groups use the Endangered Species Act to block development. And he says they've succeeded with species like the Preble's meadow jumping mouse affecting development along
Laramie, Wy – University of Wyoming officials have released their latest academic plan as they continue to try and move the school forward. U-W President Phil Dubois says they are focusing on some key issues, such as the Graduate programs. He says they are undersubscribed and need attention. Dubois also wants an examination on the curriculum, so that students can finish in four years. He also wants another look at long range enrollment planning. The plan also guides U-W in economic development efforts.
Cody, WY – Plenty of water will be stored in Buffalo Bill Reservoir for Big Horn Basin water users, even in the worst of drought years. That's according to a proposed winter release agreement. The proposal is set to replace an agreement signed in 1994 by a number of users. U-S Bureau of Reclamation Area Manager John Lawson assued those at a meeting in Cody the proposed plan, still in draft form, would ensure enough water would be retained for all uses, even in the driest years.
Sheridan, WY – A Casper Senator is suggesting Wyoming adopt the so-called "English Rule" to deal with medical malpractice damage awards. Senator Charles Scott's proposal is among about 50 ideas being hammered out in a Sheridan committee meeting to prepare for the special legislative session. Scott says "English Rule" calls for losers in a lawsuit to pay the attorney's costs for the winner. He says the program has worked well in Great Britain. But Scott says his idea would cut into attorney's earnings, so trial lawyers are violently opposed to it.
Santa Fe, New Mexico – The Western Governors' Association has approved a resolution calling for the West to capitalize on its diverse and abundant resources of renewable energy. That ranges from solar and wind power to geothermal and biomass. The group is wrapping up a three-day meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, today (Tuesday). The governors want to develop 30-thousand megawatts of so-called clean energy in the West by 2015 and increase the energy use efficiency by 20 percent by 2020.
Cheyenne, Wy – Even though a lot of rain has been falling on Wyoming over the past week, the state's foresters and firefighters aren't nearly ready to say the threat of wildfires has lessened. Fog, mist and rain has made much of Wyoming seem more like the Pacific Northwest. Nearly two inches of precipitation has fallen on much of the state over the past week. But the forecast calls for more of what has become the norm -- warm, dry weather. And State Forester Bill Crapser is worried that, if anything, the danger of wildfires will increase.